Appodiato di Montepulciano – Vigneto St. Ercolano – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano D.O.C.G. 2003
Southern exposure on a gently sloping hillside.
Planted in 1995 at a density of 2.80×0.8 meters (-9×3 ft), equivalent to 4,464 vines/ha (1,860/ac).
Trained to a bilateral cordon with vertical shoot positioning.
Sangiovese Clone A548 85%, Cabernet Sauvignon clone CL15, all on 420A rootstock, and Merlot of unknown clonal origin 15%.
Sandy clay with limestone from the Pliocene era (6 million years ago).
The 2003 Vintage
Continental Winter with abundant snow, strong winds and frosts. Spring and Summer were failry dry, with record breaking temperatures in the Summer with peaks over 40 °C (104 °F). A providential rain prior to the harvest allowed the grapes to reach optimal maturation. Harvest quantities were 30% below average.
Grape at harvest
Sugar 23.78%, total acidity 6.95 per thousand, pH 3.28.
Small lot fermentation at 25-30 °C (77-86 °F) using indigenous (wild) yeast in small cement vats. Fifteen day maceration with frequent aerations, pump-overs and punch-downs of the cap for optimum polyphenol extraction.
Started during the primary fermentation it was finished a few days after being drawn off the lees.
Placed in new French and American oak barrels on March 18th, 2004 it was taken out to settle in stainless steel tanks at the end of April 2005.
To protect the vineyard’s character this wine was racked then bottled unfiltered on May 12th, 2005.
In our temperature controlled cellar for over 45 months. Released: October 2011.
Dark, deep, amaranth-ruby hue.
Bold and intense, with black currants, licorice, black pepper and a hint of vanilla.
Full-bodied palate with exceptional black fruit intensity and spice. Big structured with well integrated, supple tannins and a long, persistent finish.
Analytical data at the time of bottling
Alcohol 13.56%, total acidity 5.22 per thousand, color 18.51, sugar 1.54 per thousand, polyphenols 3,655 mg/l, dry extract 31.02 g/l.
Best served with roast and grilled meats, especially “fiorentina-style” T-bone steak.